posted June 3, 2016- written by Ashley Weselak, SOE Graduate Assistant
From public school teacher, to published author. From Buffalo State grad to Harvard alum. Christine Woyshner has been on an endless quest for personal growth and to improve education for the young.
Woyshner chose Buffalo State’s graduate program in Elementary Education to be a part of this journey. The flexible schedule, yet rigorous standards of Buffalo State complemented her busy schedule as a teacher of Lackawanna Schools and gave her confidence and the ability to advance her goals.
Woyshner became engrossed in the fields of children’s literacy, special education, and multicultural education. Finding motivation by engaging opportunities to make the world better through education, Woyshner’s teachings and publications work toward a goal of social justice. Faculty, such as the late Professor Frank Diulus, challenged her to dig deep and discover new teaching ideas, especially in regards to educational simulations. At Buffalo State, Woyshner developed a passion for research and decided to pursue a doctorate at Harvard University. She has written extensively on the need to diversify the K-12 social studies curriculum, particularly in terms of race and gender.
She states, “My professors inspired me with their rigor and enthusiasm for their subjects. I learned that I could have a broader impact on teachers by getting my doctorate. This started from my program at Buffalo State.”
Woyshner enjoys the challenges that come with teaching, whether as a public school teacher or a professor.
“A teacher brings students along, helps them grow, and then watches them fly. Each new school year is filled with promises and challenges that are enriching,” she says.
Woyshner believes that understanding the students’ communities is an important factor for effective teaching. Teachers should bring these ideals of individual communities into the classroom and help students to make personal connections. Flexibility is also an important attribute, she attests. Teachers must be able to both plan carefully and remain spontaneous.
“The ability to listen to students and keep an open mind,” she said. “It is important to keep developing as a teacher and not become set in your ways.”
Woyshner enjoys researching education at the turn of the 20th century and is now a professor of education, and chair of the Teaching and Learning Department at Temple University. Her work as an educational historian led to her current project which is working on a new book focused on the history of black civic organizations in the South before Brown vs. Board of Education. She is researching the role these organizations played in shaping schools and the curriculum. She looks forward to continuing to research, write, and educate future teachers.
Check out Christine Woyshner's latest book: The National PTA, Race, and Civic Engagement, 1897-1970.
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